How to Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Wanaque New Jersey
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Wanaque New Jersey. But after you have decided on the type of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you tackle choosing a college that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the college you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably start by looking for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional issues that you should investigate before making your final decision. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the college are important factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when deciding on the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Wanaque NJ
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Wanaque NJ. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Generally requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for obtaining any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specializations to pick from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that area would obviously be the ideal decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Wanaque NJ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have decided on, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Classes Online
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the United States that offer online degree programs similar to those offered on campus. And for many Wanaque NJ students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, as with any college you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this type of independent environment, then earning your degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Wanaque NJ area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when assessing colleges. Obviously cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a school that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed several others also, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to confirm that the program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Wanaque NJ employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s especially crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior employment history. Without any prior experience, Wanaque NJ employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can find school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Wanaque NJ colleges you are reviewing. A low percentage might be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a sizable network of contacts to assist students obtain jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the school you select will need to be within driving distance of your Wanaque NJ residence. Certainly attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a college outside of your state of residence, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes afford little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a few classes prior to making your final decision. Speak with some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the New Jersey criminal justice field.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wanaque NJ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Wanaque NJ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Wanaque NJ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Wanaque area where your school campus will be located.
Wanaque, New Jersey
Wanaque (/ˈwɒnəkjuː, wəˈnɑːki/) is a borough in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 11,116, reflecting an increase of 850 (+8.3%) from the 10,266 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 555 (+5.7%) from the 9,711 counted in the 1990 Census.
Wanaque was incorporated as an independent borough on February 23, 1918, when Pompton Township was split up into three boroughs, along with Bloomingdale and Ringwood, based on the results of a referendum held on March 22, 1918. The borough's name Wanaque (original pronunciation 'Wa Na Kee') is thought to have been derived from a Lenni Lenape Native American word meaning "land of sassafras".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 9.253 square miles (23.965 km2), including 7.990 square miles (20.694 km2) of land and 1.263 square miles (3.271 km2) of water (13.65%).
Find the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Wanaque NJ
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice college near Wanaque NJ is crucial to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the best criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, confirm that the school has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Training. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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